Senior vice Cabinet Office minister to defect from Abe's ruling LDP, join new party

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-25 14:20:22|Editor: ZD
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TOKYO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A senior vice Cabinet Office minister in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government announced Monday he would be leaving the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to join a new party being formed by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her allies.

Mineyuki Fukuda, 53, a third term lower house lawmaker, told a press briefing on the matter that he wants to form a new party with independent lower house member Masaru Wakasa.

"I will make a new political party with House of Representatives lawmaker Masaru Wakasa," Fukuda said, referring to the independent lawmaker who has joined forces with former Democratic Party members including Goshi Hosono and other defectors.

"I want to join the new party and work on raising up its human resources," Fukuda said, confirming his plan to run as a candidate for the envisioned new party in the expected upcoming general election.

Fukuda was first elected to the lower house in 2005, and while being defeated in the 2014 general election in his Kanagawa Prefecture constituency, he did, however, managed to retain his seat on the LDP's proportional representation list.

The new party, envisioned by Wakasa and Hosono, has seen a number of defectors jump ship from their parties to join the embryonic party that will field 50 or more candidates in all of Tokyo's 25 constituencies.

A veteran member of the main opposition party Democratic Party who also served in the past as the head of the National Public Safety Commission, Jin Matsubara, is also among the most recent lawmakers to jump to the new party.

He said that Koike's involvement was a large part of his decision to defect. "I am determined to join the new party made by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike," Matsubara said after tendering his resignation from the party on Monday.

Local media reported that Koike has just announced to launch the new party.